Using Social Media to Attract New Hires to the Blue Collar World

By Aaron Witt, BuildWitt

That’s right. Blue collar and social media in the same headline. Crazy, isn’t it? Not exactly...

The world of building things has a massive people problem. Retirements are accelerating, and there’s no new generation of workers ready to take over. While every boardroom in the industry tirelessly talks about how to attract younger people, social media has the ability to help construction, mining, and equipment companies reach them by the millions. And not just reach them, but hire them too. There are 20-somethings working in these industries from coast to coast thanks to online marketing using social media.

Sharing Your Work on Social Media

While social media requires companies to adopt a fresh perspective on sharing, it’s easy and free to take advantage of. How? Let me explain…

The first step is embracing a new mindset toward sharing your work. The veil of secrecy our industry loves is a thing of the past. Every one of your employees now has a smartphone, and with that, the ability to instantly share their lives online at any time. Controlling information is no longer possible ― even for the biggest companies with the most stringent social media sharing policies and NDAs.

Concerns about safety hazards coming back to bite you? In my opinion, any great company with a strong safety program has nothing to fear. Worried about exposing your trade secrets? Your competitors likely already know the ins and outs of your company through word of mouth, and your competitive edge isn’t your iron or tech anyway ― it’s your people.

Getting the Right People Involved

Let’s say you’re ready to pull back the curtain, and invite people into the day-to-day of your business. Now what? Find someone inside your company who understands the industry. This can be anyone from executives to field personnel ― or even better, a combination of both. We’ve seen it all. The only problem is when people who have never lived the work are in charge of sharing it. The best part of our business is the hard work and authenticity ― telling that story is the only effective way to attract new people, and that story can only be told by people who live or have lived it every day.

How do you tell your company’s story? Simply capture the day-to-day of your work. Don’t make things up. Don’t polish. Show your people, projects, and equipment doing exactly what they’d be doing when a camera isn’t there. Involve as many people as you can. Encourage your employees to safely and intelligently share their days at work online, and tag the company in their posts. Trust goes a long way. If your people spend half their lives at work, why wouldn’t you want them sharing what they do? After all, they’re your best salespeople.

Establishing a Posting Cadence

Lastly, be consistent. The key to any successful social program is posting authentic daily stories across as many platforms as possible (we prefer Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn).

After months of inviting people into your company and sharing what your people do every day, you’ll have a platform that can help you hire quality people. Firm up the hiring page on your website and watch the applicants go from social media to your website, and eventually to your job sites. The more authentic your story is, the more great people you’ll attract.

As for examples, the industry leader is Turner Mining Group. We’re lucky to work with such an inviting company that’s open to sharing any and every aspect of their business. So far, they’ve received over 500 applications for employment in only a few months, with over 100 hires driven from social media. With data like that, how could you pass an opportunity like social media by?

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